Each week, your friends at Mastersball will post the results of the weekly LABR FAAB run, featuring the winning bid as well a the runner-up bids. There are three LABR leagues, a 12-team AL only, 12-team NL only and 15-team Mixed Draft League. You can see the complete standings for each league by clicking on the appropriate heading, located just under each player photo.
Included with each league report will be commentary from a Mastersball staff member participating in that league. We invite you to ask questions and post comments at the bottom of the report.
All contingency bids for awarded players are included. Sometimes, this bid is tied to a player that the owner received, so at times the bid amount is larger than the winning bid. We are including it to provide as much information and context as possible with each report.
|John Hicks, DET||Mastersball 8||ESPN.com 1|
|Chase Whitley, TB||Colton & The Wolfman 6||ESPN.com 1|
|Ben Gamel, SEA||Yahoo! Sports 4||NFBC/Stats, Inc. 9|
|Josh Rutledge, BOS||NFBC/Stats, Inc. 3|
|Joe Smith, TOR||Yahoo! Sports 2||SiriusXM 1||Fangraphs 1||NFBC/Stats, Inc. 1|
|Carlos Ruiz, SEA||ESPN.com 1|
|Anthony Swarzak, CWS||ESPN.com 1||SiriusXM 1||Yahoo! Sports 1|
|Frankie Montas, OAK||ESPN.com 1||Yahoo! Sports 1|
|Alex Wilson, DET||SiriusXM 1|
|Jesus Sucre, TB||USA TODAY Sports 1|
|Austin Pruitt, TB||Fangraphs 1|
|Jorge Bonifacio, KC||NFBC/Stats, Inc. 1||Yahoo! Sports 1|
|Nick Vincent, SEA||SiriusXM 1||Yahoo! Sports 1|
|Alec Asher, BAL||ESPN.com 1|
|Boog Powell, SEA||Yahoo! Sports 1|
|Dan Jennings, CWS||SiriusXM 1|
|Danny Farquhar, TB||SiriusXM 1|
|James Pazos, SEA||SiriusXM 1|
|Jonathan Holder, NYY||Fangraphs 1|
|Juan Graterol, LAA||ESPN.com 1|
|Nick Martinez, TEX||SiriusXM 1|
|Tony Zych, SEA||Fangraphs 1|
Lawr Michaels' Commentary
Dollar bids dominated the billing cycle as we head towards May Day, for even though I landed the high-priced spread on the Tigers John Hicks, the one challenger was for a buck.
Rick Wolf and Glenn Colton bagged hurler Chase Whitley for $6, besting a pair of $1 tries. A $4 bid on Ben Gamel by Brandon Funston, and a $3 bid for Josh Rutledge by Shawn Childs and Greg Ambrosius went unchallenged. A $2 Yahoo! bid on Joe Smith pulled three failed $1 attempts.
From then on, the place in the standings is what determined the outcome of the one-buck battles of Week 5.
Note there's a good chance Hicks only plays one more game in Miguel Cabrera's stead as the star first baseman is on track to be activated from the DL on Tuesday. That said, Hicks isn't a bad stash if you have the reserve spot since he's a catcher by trade and could be called upon if James McCann or Alex Avila are felled or even if McCann is traded, a possibility if the Tigers aren't competing come July. It isn't likely, but at least Hicks has demonstrated he can hit major league pitching.
A couple of the other top bid winners are in a a battle for playing time. With Leonys Martin clearing waiver and outrighted to Triple-A Tacoma and Haniger shelved, Ben Gamel joins Guillermo Heredia, Taylor Motter and Danny Valencia in the battle for playing time in the Mariners outfield. Gamel doesn't hit for power, but he has a decent eye and can swipe a base, something Seattle is doing more this season. Last week, I advised holding onto Martin. Even though he's no longer on the 40-man roster, it wouldn't be surprising to see him back up if he gets things going on the farm.
It'll be interesting to see how things flesh out at the hot corner in Boston. Rutledge, along with Marco Hernandez and Chase D'Arnaud, plucked off waivers from the Braves, vie for playing time while Pablo Sandoval mends.
|Christian Arroyo, SF||RotoWire - DVR 16||Colton & The Wolfman 11||Baseball HQ 4||Mastersball 3|
|Sandlot Shrink 2||NFBC/Stats, Inc. 1|
|J.J. Hoover, ARI||Baseball HQ 2|
|Hansel Robles, NYM||Mastersball 1|
|Michael Morse, SF||Mastersball 1||NFBC/Stats, Inc. 1|
|Drew Stubbs, SF||Derek Carty 1||ESPN - Karabell 1|
|Gift Ngoepe, PIT||ESPN - Karabell 1||Mastersball 1||RotoWire - DVR 1|
|Nick Ahmed, ARI||Sandlot Shrink 1|
|Alexi Amarista, COL||Sandlot Shrink 1|
|Jorge De La Rosa, ARI||Mastersball 1|
|Kyle Freeland, COL||NFBC/Stats, Inc. 1|
|Lane Adams, ATL||Sandlot Shrink 1|
|Tyler Anderson, COL||NFBC/Stats, Inc. 1|
Brian Walton's Commentary
Only two free agents fetched more than one bid this week in NL LABR, with almost half the league, six owners, in on new Giants third sacker Christian Arroyo. The $16 offer from Rotowire’s Derek Van Riper, one-sixth of his full-season budget, distanced the next-best bid at $11.
An old, familiar name, also on the injury-plagued San Francisco club, is Mike Morse. With Brandon Belt being outfield capable, Morse could receive starts at first base, as the scuffling Giants look for offense wherever they can find it. I won the $1 bid on a tie-breaker.
One other free agent cost more than $1 this week, and it is another player back from the fantasy dead. Reliever J.J. Hoover, now with the Arizona Diamondbacks, went for $2 to Doug Dennis of BaseballHQ. Any pitcher who shares a bullpen with Fernando Rodney could find himself in the spotlight eventually. Further, Doug knows Hoover well from the latter’s time with Cincinnati.
Back in the day when I played pick-up hoops -- stop laughing, I really used to play -- the worst thing I could do was sink my first outside shot (I think you need to leave the ground more than an inch to call it a jumper). If I did, anyone on my team not familiar with my game would assume I could shoot. They chose poorly. Comparing my two-handed, no-spin, set shot to a major league baseball player is a huge stretch, but I actually have a point. Those investing a good chunk of FAAB in Arroyo may be doing so after Arroyo went deep twice in his debut week. Long-term, the jury is still out as Arroyo is just 21. He's currently more of a gap hitter, which plays just fine in AT&T. Double-digit homers are possible, just don't count on many more multiple dinger weeks. Arroyo was originally called up to provide a spark at the hot corner, but with shortstop Brandon Crawford sidelined, he'll play at his natural spot, at least this week.
|Cody Bellinger, LAD||USA TODAY Sports 15||@TheFantasyFix 9||Baseball HQ 9||Fangraphs: Sleeper & Bust 6|
|Fangraphs 2||MLB.com 1|
|Michael Taylor, WSH||@TheFantasyFix 9||USA TODAY Sports 6||Fangraphs 3||Baseball HQ 3|
|Delino DeShields, TEX||MLB.com 8||Fangraphs: Sleeper & Bust 4||@TheFantasyFix 3||Fangraphs 2|
|Christian Arroyo, SF||@TheFantasyFix 8||MLB.com 1|
|Jose Reyes, NYM||RotoExperts/ FNTSY 7||Mastersball 3||Baseball HQ 3||Yahoo Sports 2|
|JC Ramirez, LAA||Fangraphs: Sleeper & Bust 6||USA TODAY Sports 1|
|Alex Cobb, TB||Fangraphs 3||Yahoo Sports 2||Fangraphs: Sleeper & Bust 2||MLB.com 1|
|Erick Aybar, SD||RotoExperts/ FNTSY 2|
|R.A. Dickey, ATL||MLB.com 1|
|Christian Vazquez, BOS||Rotowire 1|
|Ariel Miranda, SEA||USA TODAY Sports 2|
|Matt Cain, SF||MLB.com 1||USA TODAY Sports 1|
|Blake Parker, LAA||USA TODAY Sports 1|
|Hansel Robles, NYM||USA TODAY Sports 1|
|Miguel Montero, CHC||Rotowire 1|
|Yan Gomes, CLE||Rotowire 1|
|Zack Cozart, CIN||MLB.com 1|
|Erasmo Ramirez, TB||Fangraphs: Sleeper & Bust 1|
|Marwin Gonzalez, HOU||Fangraphs: Sleeper & Bust 1|
Todd Zola's Commentary
Pitching took a back seat this week with several teams looking to upgrade their infield and outfield. The big haul went to Steve Gardner, netting top prospect Cody Bellinger. The Dodger insist Bellinger's stay will be brief, as he's up to fill in for Joc Pederson. However, with Adrian Gonzalez showing his age, there's pathways to more playing time.
Michael A. Taylor gets first crack at filling Adam Eaton's shoes. Taylor has a little pop and can run, but has been exposed in the contact department when given regular playing time. Currently, the Nationals offense is crushing, as they lead the league in scoring by a wide margin, suggesting Taylor's offense could be secondary to defense. That said, the club is in win-now mode so at some point, Taylor will need to hit. Washington could trade for a center fielder or even turn to one of their promising youngsters, Andrew Stevenson or Victor Robles.
The on-again, off-again playing time for DeShields is back on again, in part due to Jurickson Profar being sent down to the minors. Many thought DeShields would be a bigger part of the Rangers outfield from opening day after he closed out 2016 with a bang, followed by a strong spring. He won't play every day, but when he's in the lineup, DeShields is a threat to swipe some bags.
After a horrendous start to the 2017 campaign, Jose Reyes was dropped all over the fantasy landscape. After a modest six-game hitting streak in which Reyes has gone 9-for-23 with two homers, 6 runs, 3 RBI and a pair of steals, he's back in our good graces. A hot week by Erick Aybar has him back on the map as well.
Another week, another injury. Make that three as C.J. Cron, Tyler Skaggs and of course, Adam Eaton join Zach Britton, Madison Bumgarner, Josh Donaldson, Brandon Finnegan, J.D. Martinez, Jarrett Parker and Marcus Semien on my DL. Actually, the list has one fewer name as I dealt Bike Flip for Bat Flip, acquiring the slumping Jose Bautista from Jake Ciely for Madison Bumgarner. I grabbed Carlos Carrasco at a discount in the February draft, along with Julio Teheran so I felt it was more important to buy low on a potential slugger than hope MadBum can help me in three months. It'll be tough, but with injuries affecting everyone, the plan is to get through this early onset of health woes, then manage the categories as the walking wounded return.